I don’t write about games very often, I have to say. I used to be quite an avid gamer, from playing Sonic the Hedgehog when I was small through to things like Tomb Raider, Devil May Cry and GTA. Gaming has had a huge impact on my life – Lara Croft was my idol growing up. I think I played every game in the franchise except for Angel of Death, and I can’t even remember why that was.
When I was at school I remember asking my parents for a Playstation 2. They would pay for it, and then I would pay them back week by week from my job at the hairdressers until it was paid off. There’s two reasons why I wanted this game console… Tomb Raider: Legend, and Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King.
I’d spent ages playing on a PS1 demo disk for both those games. In retrospect the Tomb Raider one was far too easy, but I was so excited to be back with my hero I didn’t care so much. The Dragon Quest game, if I remember rightly, was limited to about an hours worth of play. Everything about this game sucked me in – the colours, the cartoon graphics, the music and the story. When I first started playing I thought an hour would be a long time to play, but it wasn’t! I hadn’t gone anywhere and my time was up!
So my parents agreed to the plan and I could have a Playstation 2 with the two games I wanted. To be fair, I could probably have lived my entire PS2 life just playing those two games. I got more – like Devil May Cry – great memories of sharing that game with my brother whilst we listed to Red Hot Chilli Peppers ‘By the Way’ on repeat, and decided that ‘Tear’ definitely had something to do with DMC because of the line ‘devil may cry, devil may care’ which is in the game. Sort of. ‘Devils Never Cry was the name of Dantes shop – he changes it at the end for Trish to ‘Devil May Cry’. It was the little things.
Anyway, I digress.
Dragon Quest VIII is the game that not only introduced me to the Dragon Quest series – I have several of them on the DS now – it opened up to me a world of intense gameplay that could go on for hours and hours. In that original game save I sunk over 200 hours. In another 45, and another about 40. I restarted a few times, but I couldn’t get away from my original hero, whom I named Alyss. [Because, it was totally me in that game, yeah? And I was what… 14? 15?] Dragon Quest sucked me into it’s world in a way that Final Fantasy never could.
Fast forward a few years, a DS, 3DS, a PS3 [Tomb Raider made me buy this] and a PS4 [Tomb Raider and Dragon Quest Heroes made me buy this… can you sense a theme here?] later… and we have the re-release of Dragon Quest on the 3DS. Now, I know this game came out quite some time ago… but I’m an adult with actual bills to pay, so I only got it a few months ago. I played some, then put it aside and did something else. Probably knitting.
Well… I finished the main part of the game yesterday. I have absolutely loved being back in the heroes world [yeah, this time he was called Kialtho, but again, why not??]. The world was just as immersive as I remember, and I am aware that I haven’t even come close to completing the game in it’s entirety, I just wanted to gush about it a little bit!
As I came close to the finish, I have spent some time online wondering what other people had to say about it. Most people seemed sore on two core issues: redesigning Jessica’s outfits so that they were more ‘conservative’, and other censoring issues like a scene where Marcello uses magic to free himself rather than stab himself like he did in the original version, and the music. (There’s a guy out there that’s completed the game on a speed run in just 8:40. That’s insane!)
On both these topics I have this to say: it had been such a long time since I had played the game that I didn’t notice. The music sounded as awesome as it did before, and it is one of the things that kept me in the game. I’m sure if you played them comparatively you would notice a difference, but I didn’t. And in regards to the censorship – they lowered the rating of the game for an all ages game. I believe the original was PEGI 12 so it makes sense that they’ve made a few changes.
I loved, and I mean loved, the new content. And that you could get Morrie and Red as playable characters too. Although, I was a little sad to replace Yangus ‘legendary bandit turned hero’ with Red, but she did sort of nerf him. Her attacks were awesome. I’ve maxed out her Fans and Rougery skills and am working up the Blades one. I’m sure I should have done blades first, but I’m happy with how it’s been. With Morrie I got him a little later than the rest so he’s currently my lowest powered character and as such I haven’t used him all that much. That being said his Claws and Passion are making great progress.
I still have a long way to go before I can complete the final two dungeons, but that second one makes it sound like its going to be worth levelling up to the max. That will be my next challenge!
I’ll write about my knitting [two blogs to come on that front] and my book [so nearly finished!] soon. But for now, it’s back to the NaNo train.